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“Where do we go from here?” Martin Luther King, Jr., 1967
Fifty-three years later we are still asking this question.
The entire staff of the DePaul University Library mourns the loss of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the many other people whose lives were cut short by ignorance and prejudice. We stand with our Black colleagues and students, and affirm with one voice that their lives and experiences matter.
As I think about these past few months, I struggle to know what to write, say and feel. As a person of faith and spirituality, I want the messages of inclusion, acceptance, empathy and support to be lived realities. As an educator, I want to use our collective wisdom to eradicate racism, bias, prejudice, and ignorance. As an American citizen, I want our country to do better.
Together, as the DePaul University Library, we stand arm in arm to begin walking the path to achieving a common goal. For those of us who are white, it means acknowledging and recognizing our own privilege and how it pushed to the sidelines our sisters and brothers who lack it. Collectively, we are called to help everyone grow, thrive, succeed and triumph.
In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King asked, “Where do we go from here?” In 2020, we are indeed asking the very same question. In the present, we must do all we can to affect change, change hearts, and love all for the sake of the present and the future.
Robert D. Karpinski, Ph. D. Associate Vice-President for Academic and Library Affairs | Office of the Provost | DePaul University